Heyyyyyyyyy guys. I’m going to give it to you straight here: I haven’t been baking. I have a very short list of incredibly lame excuses, but basically it just boils down to: I haven’t had time, I haven’t really felt like it, and I’m just plain lazy. So I’m writing you this sweet note to let you know that it might be a bit before you see another recipe. Not forever! But maybe another week or so.
What I’m going to do here is post something I baked a REALLY long time ago, just so there is some sort of purpose to this little missive. The recipe is for Anadama bread, which to be honest, I feel exceedingly neutral about. Some people go apeshit over Anadama bread. I like it, sure. I like it with some butter and honey, yes please. But it’s a corn-mealy molasses-y bread. It’s not the love of my life. This bread and I were not meant to be together, procreate, complement each others’ traits, pick each other up when we’re feeling down, split the diaper-duty, sigh when one of us brings home a brand new big screen tv because the superbowl is just a few weeks away, baby, and it would be a crime to watch it on that little set we have, and also i invited all my friends over and god forbid i had to sit through the embarrassment of joe and jimmy and frank seeing the pathetic excuse of a television set i’ve been viewing, and anyway it’s ours in just a few easy payments of $199 per month for the rest of our lives and now you’re giving me that look you give me when i’ve done something silly, and, well, honey, i wouldn’t have to give you this look all the time if you didn’t keep doing silly things, honestly, it’s like some days i feel like i married a child!
But I mean, it’s a pretty good loaf.
forgive me, i know not from where
1/2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup molasses
6 tablespoons butter, softened, more for greasing bowl
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Oil for greasing.
1. In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal and 1 cup water. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring another cup of water to a boil. Add cornmeal mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the molasses and 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer mixture to bowl of an electric mixer and cool to tepid.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and 1/2 cup water until yeast has dissolved. Add to cornmeal and mix on low speed with dough-hook attachment for several seconds. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing for several seconds after each addition. Sprinkle in the salt and nutmeg, and continue mixing until dough completely comes away from sides of bowl, about 7 minutes.
3. Lightly butter a bowl. Form dough into a ball and place it in bowl. Oil a sheet of plastic wrap and loosely cover dough. Allow dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
4. Lightly grease 2 9-by-4-inch loaf pans. Press down dough and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece loosely into a loaf and place each in a pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until loaves have doubled.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until bread is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
6. Allow bread to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire cooling rack. Brush all over with remaining softened butter. Serve warm if possible.
Yield: 2 9-by-4-inch loaves.
To make ahead: Bread can be frozen after baking. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight; reheat loaves wrapped in foil for 30 minutes at 325 degrees before serving. Dough can be refrigerated overnight after shaping into loaves (cover pans with plastic). Allow dough to rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before baking (it will double in size and fill the loaf pans). Bake as directed. Dough can also be frozen after shaping for up to 2 weeks (wrap well in plastic). Defrost it in refrigerator overnight, then let rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until doubled in size. Bake as directed.